A Conversation With Vance Bedford - Week 10

The talk among Oklahoma State fans now that the Texas game is over and has been dissected, cussed and discussed is here comes Baylor, and with the Bears here comes a win and bowl eligibility. Cowboy defense players and OSU fans that get close enough to defensive coordinator Vance Bedford best be advised to put a clamp on the bowl eligibility talk. Bedford doesn't want to hear it.

His cause for Saturday is more simple. He wants to keep the home fires burning.

"For me as a defensive coach, I'm only going to talk about one thing," said Bedford. "I'm not going to talk about the bowl game, Coach (Mike) Gundy might bring it up, (but) my thing is to win at home, bowl game or no bowl game. That is the thing you have to do as a good football team. You can't become a good football team if you can't defend your own house.

"Right now we have one loss (Texas A&M) in our own house and we shouldn't have lost that game. We didn't finish, and then we came back the next week against Nebraska and we finished. We have to do the same thing Saturday at 11:30, or whenever the game is. We have to finish and win at home and then you can start talking about being a good football team some day."

Bedford dismissed some other common talk around OSU and other Big 12 football camps, and that's the common practice of counting a date with Baylor as a win. This season it didn't work out for Kansas State, Colorado and Kansas. Last season thanks to eight turnovers Baylor got the Cowboys too.

"I just put on the video from last year and then you don't say that because Baylor put a good old-fashioned butt whipping on us," said Bedford. "For us to say that any game is an easy win or one you count as a win you have to be nuts. There is no such thing anymore. They are getting good players. Look at the kids they are recruiting they have good kids committing to them right now. They are a good football team. They are a young team and we are a young team.

"You can flip a coin as to who is going to win and the best thing we have going for us right now is we are playing in Stillwater, Oklahoma in Boone Pickens Stadium, hopefully with 44,000 people, standing room only cheering it up and maybe giving that freshman quarterback a hard time."

Yes, the quarterback, with Shawn Bell out for the season following as ACL knee injury against Texas A&M, redshirt freshman Blake Syzmanski made his debut against Texas Tech last Saturday. Syzmanski threw for one touchdown and ran for two in the 55-21 loss. He was shaky at times, and Bedford would just as soon he not gained the one game of experience.

"That is why I wish we had played them last week because last week he was a first-time starter," said Bedford. "He's been on the road in a hostile crowd. Texas Tech is one of the most difficult places to play in this conference, and they had certain plays set up for him in that game. Now they are going to add more plays to the offense, and he's going to feel more comfortable."

It is very easy to simply look at the 36-10 loss to Texas last Saturday and not pick out any positives, but for the Oklahoma State defense there were several. They forced a couple of turnovers. They held Texas in check early allowing for plenty of time for the offense to get started, and then even with the issue pretty much decided put on a goal-line stand, eventually forcing jumbo back Henry Melton to fumble the ball away, and that impressed Bedford.

"I was excited," said Bedford. "I was fired up for the players. They went out there and we got in a goal-line defense and if you can hold an opponent out when they have a first down and goal then you have something to talk about. That is one of the things that I talked about in the meeting today. We could have gone out there and shut it down. They went out there determined not to let them in the end zone and when you consistently do that then you have something to talk about."

After Saturday hopefully Bedford has plenty to talk about including maybe that word he isn't using this week, bowl.

GoPokes Top Stories